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Review of Diffusion magazine, volume 1

Writer / Elizabeth Graves

Elizabeth Graves picks up the first copy of Diffusion magazine and just loves it.

Diffusion is a gorgeous new print magazine with a refreshing emphasis: the creative photographic process. While most mainstream photography magazines on newsstands remain obsessed with mass-manufactured gear – purchasing gear, mastering gear, and buying new gear when the next great thing comes along -it is especially satisfying to read about the passion to create that draws most of us to photography in the first place.

For those of us who use alternative photographic processes, it is a great pleasure to read about the inspiration of artists who choose to express themselves in antiquarian analogue media.

The inaugural issue of Diffusion magazine, volume 1 is a subtle manifesto on the importance of HOW creative work is made. Lyrical pinhole images from Zeb Andrews illustrate his essay on slowing down to make long exposures and to experience a place in a particular moment. A fast modern shutter records the world one particular way, but what can be captured in a fraction of a second is not necessarily a complete view. Dr. Ware discusses the painstaking experimentation that brought us chemical printing processes of lasting beauty, and his drive to improve them. Rather than one body of work, his images show off the best properties of each of the processes he has studied. The four profiled artists, whose work is displayed in sumptuous spreads, show off the wide range of subjects, approaches, and results that are possible with fearless experimentation. Each artist is given ample room to describe the inspiration that led them to their specific approaches, and to outline the labor they choose to invest in their work to get the results they want. In addition, winners from the Plates to Pixels second international juried competition round out the issue, showing off the vast diversity of ideas and looks available from chemical and analog artistic tools.

In the creative landscape, there are always a range of artistic movements active at any given time. Photography has its share of trends, and the digital age has provided us with more venues to see and participate in those trends. If there is anything this first issue of Diffusion magazine, volume 1 shows us, it is that there is a broad, healthy, and diverse movement of photographers experimenting with painstaking, do-it-yourself chemical processes who are producing stimulating work. Diffusion does an excellent job of letting artists share their thoughts, creativity, and philosophies behind how and why they have made this choice, and shows off the results in a lovely print edition.

Diffusion ably fills a niche within the analogue art & media movements, and holds great promise.

Diffusion magazineDiffusion magazine – unconventional photography, volume 1, 2009
A yearly magazine on unconventional photographic processes and photo related artwork.

 

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